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General News · 28th November 2014
Cec & Christine Robinson
The Cortes Streamkeepers completed their first project of monitoring some of the Cortes streams in November by completing chum spawner surveys. The counts made by the Cortes Streamkeepers will complement and build on the observations and record-keeping of spawning salmon done by Klahoose over the years.

Several teams of two conducted ‘bank walks’ (one methodology used for counting spawners) making several visits over the spawning period, and counting live salmon and carcasses. This is ‘citizen-science’ in action – trained volunteers able to do work at a local level and contribute scientific data, which might not be done otherwise. Important information on chum spawner numbers for 2014 will be passed onto DFO, Klahoose, and a couple of provincial data bases, and will hopefully contribute to a better understanding of annual cycles on Cortes.

Here are the numbers collected in November, as approximate as they are:
Basil Brook - 81 chum, counted in 4 survey dates (Nov 1 - 15)
Hansen Creek - 31 chum, counted in 4 survey dates (Oct 25 - Nov 10)
James/Carrington Creek - 26 chum, counted in 5 survey dates (Nov 2 - 17)
Manson’s Lagoon Creek - 9 chum, counted in 1 survey date (Nov 4)
Whaletown Creek – no counts available this year.
Frabjes Day Creek – no chum this year, although 17 chum were counted in 2013.

It appears that 2013 had higher returns of chum salmon, and as we monitor this over the next years, we may begin to see some pattern. Ultimately, we hope to actively support increased salmon returns to Cortes creeks through stream restoration projects and other means.

Our next steps will be to keep watchful eyes for the elusive coho spawners who may be found sneaking into Cortes creeks anytime between December through January and possibly February. Coho have redder colouration than chum as they begin their spawning cycle, and often swim a long way up creeks. We would appreciate hearing of any sightings of coho if you are lucky enough to spy one.

The Cortes streamkeepers are also looking forward to working with the community forest in protection of fish habitat when harvesting begins.

Thanks to all the current fish counters – Mike Manson, Chris & Debbie Dragseth, Deb Peters & Rick Kolstead, Elizabeth Anderson, Alma Huuskonen, Tosh & Ryan Harvey, senior Lakehouse youth, Chris Napper, Kate Maddigan, Max Thayson, Ben & Ann Fulton, Christine & Cec Robinson.